This article was originally published here
Hum Gene Ther. 2021 Jan 15. doi: 10.1089/hum.2020.275. Online ahead of print.
Wound healing has been greatly challenging in different acute and chronic skin injuries. Among them, non-revascularizable critical limb ischemic ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and diabetic lower limb or extremity ulcers are well-known refractory skin injuries that are difficult to treat. Partly differentiated progenitor cell-based graft transplantation or direct injection of autologous stem cells might promote the wound healing process. Studies aiming to comprehensively analyze the effects of cell therapy on skin wound healing could provide clinical evidence for skin injury treatment. Different databases were searched for full-text publications about the comparison between cell therapy and regular therapy. Heterogeneity was detected by the I2 method, and a fixed-effect model was applied for data pooling if heterogeneity was absent. Publication bias was analyzed using a funnel plot, and 10 studies were finally included in this study. After a long-term follow-up, fewer patients underwent major amputation in the cell therapy group, compared with the standard therapy group, and those in the cell therapy group were characterized with smaller ulcer area. Moreover, there was a significant difference in the wound healing rate between the intervention and control groups. However, pain caused by skin wounds was hardly mitigated by cell therapy in patients with critical limb ischemia. In this study, cell therapy proved effective in decreasing the size of ulcer and improving wound closure rate. Additionally, major amputation rate was decreased in the cell therapy group. However, the symptoms of pain were hardly alleviated by cell therapy in patients with cutaneous ulcers caused by peripheral artery disease-related critical limb ischemia.